How to use Apple Clips, the perfect video app for your social feeds

The Apple Clips app specializes in making video clips, ones specifically designed to be shared on social media. You are probably already familiar with Stories on Facebook and Instagram, but Apple Clips separates these into a stand-alone app that is more powerful and easier to use. Apple‘s app creates videos that are square, which is perfect for sharing on a social media timeline.

As per usual with Apple’s proprietary apps, however, Clips doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Even though it is pretty intuitive, there may be some things that aren’t readily obvious. To help, we’ve prepared an easy-to-follow guide on how to use Apple Clips so you can jump straight into making awesome clips.

Download Clips for iOS

Check out our take on Apple Clips 2.0 and all the new things it brings for the iPhone X.

The interface

how to use apple clips

When you open Clips for the first time, it will default to the camera. Apple wants you to make small video clips that will be stitched together at the end. If you’ve ever shared a story on Facebook or Instagram, then you’re already familiar with this concept.

If you’re an iPhone X user, you will see an additional feature called Scenes before the Camera option.

You can also switch from camera to the library in case you want to start adding pictures from there, or you can use posters to insert title slides in your video. Don’t worry because we will show you how to use posters later on.

It doesn’t matter what you share — whether it’s a video, posters, or photos — you have to hold the big red button to record it. Once you’ve finished recording, Clips will add it to the timeline. You can choose to record a video, take a photo, or add a video or photo from your library. Regardless of what you add, you have to hold the red button to record it and tell Clips how long to play the video or showcase the photo for.

Directly above the big red button, you will see three icons. The icon on the left is the flash icon, tap it to turn the flash on or off. You’ll see the camera shutter button in the center which you can tap to take a picture. The icon on the right is to switch the camera so you can toggle between the front-facing camera or the primary camera on the back of your iPhone.

how to use apple clips

On the left side of the red button you’ll find the Live Titles icon and on the right is the star icon which opens up the filters, labels, stickers, and emojis.

At the top of the app window, you will see two icons. On the very far left you have an icon that looks like a stack of files, and if you tap this icon, you will see all the clips you’ve previously saved. Here, you can also choose to delete them. To delete a clip, just tap on it once and tap the trash icon in the upper right-hand corner.

On the upper right you’ll see the music icon to insert music into your clip.

The best way to understand what all these icons do is to make a short video, so let’s dig in and make a clip to share on social media.

Making a clip


how to use apple clips

If you’re an iPhone X owner, you will see four options. The option on the far left is called Scenes. The iPhone X’s TrueDepth Camera identifies your face and body, cuts it out of the background, and puts you in another scene. It’s like recording a video in front of a green screen. They’re not just two-dimensional flat images, but real environments that rotate 360 degrees. It feels like you’re in that space. They even have a scene from Star Wars that puts you right inside the Millennium Falcon.

Camera (video)

how to use apple clips

The first thing you should do is tap and hold the red button to record a short clip. For this example, we will say: This is my favorite mouse.” That was easy! We have our first clip in the timeline.

Camera (photo)

The shutter button icon will let you take a photo, with or without flash, using your phone’s front-facing or rear camera. Keep in mind that the photo won’t be added to the timeline right away, however. After you take the photo, you’ll have to hold the red button to add the photo to the timeline. To do so, hold the red button for five seconds and then let go. The photo should now be part of the timeline, and you can drag and drop these clips anywhere you want to. If you want to take another photo just tap Redo.


Using the library is very easy, and allows you to make these clips later with videos and pictures you’ve taken during the day. Just like we did before, you select the photo or video that you want to add, and then hold the red button to add it to the timeline. How long you want the picture or video to be is up to you.

Keep in mind that any time you are holding the red record button, you can also talk to add your voice.

Even if you add a video from your library, you can still talk while you’re pressing the red button. If the original video has sound don’t worry, we will show you how to mute it in the next section.

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